Doing less with more?

Patrick Gibbons

The Soviet Union's command economy had central bureaucrats dictating who made what, in what quantity, and to whom they could sell. As time went on the Soviet Union was producing engineers, doctors, steel and weapons in massive quantities.  But production in the Soviet empire came at a high cost.

Ultimately the Soviet Union couldn't stand against the economic might of the United States because American capitalism was able to devote fewer resources and produce more of everything. We built things better, faster, more efficiently and cheaper.

Sadly, American might is waning, particularly (and not surprisingly) in the areas heavily regulated and controlled by a centralized government.  Ironically, Estonia, a former Soviet satellite, is now producing better educated students than America by spending about $2,800 per student. That is the same amount (inflation adjusted) the U.S. spent per pupil in 1961.

Americans are naturally innovative and entrepreneurial, and we were once the best at figuring out ways to do more with less. We need to free education from the mind-numbing monopoly of government control if we are to compete in a global economy where other people are producing more with less. Otherwise we stand to be beaten at our own game.